The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Leave Your Ego at the Door

As many of you know -- I routinely enter juried photography contest/competitions/shows.  I enjoy the competition.  Also, you know I direct Nature Undisturbed.  Yesterday I received the results from our 2012 juror, Brett Abbott.  After I received the results -- I spent a good part of my day reviewing, creating files, and composing the formal list and email to the entrants.

This is a tough thing.  Many people I know may not be in the show.  I am always happy to see friends selected -- but there are some who are not and, well...that is just the way it is.  No one is in every show that they enter -- there are times that you just don't make it in.

This morning I received an email from an entrant -- subject line: Exhibition Rejection.  Immediately I thought -- uh oh.  It was from someone who had never entered before this year.  When I opened the email I was greeted by, "Thanks for letting me know about the rejection.  I won't be entering in the future."

So then I thought -- I have not blogged in a while -- and this is a great topic.

What do I think is the best thing to take away from entering juried shows?  I think the best thing is to learn how to handle rejection.  As an artist you will experience it at some time -- and some time again.  How you handle it may influence how often you will revisit it.  No one likes to get that letter/email that essentially says, thanks for playing, come to the reception and see what beat you out to hang on the wall.  OK -- it doesn't really say that.  And for a long time I did not get the rejection letter.  Boy, when I got one -- it was a wake up.

You need to stop, think, perhaps reevaluate.  I do know of photos out there -- and my most well-known image -- the serendipitous snake -- is a great example.  That photo has not been accepted in every show it was entered.  It has received rejections.  In that case, I understood it was a strong image -- but maybe not everyone agrees or it does not fit in every show.  The same photo has taken first place in other exhibits and is part of a permanent collection.  Shows can only accommodate so many photos -- and great shots don't make it in.  

I suppose if you can only accept positive critique or feedback -- you need to just show your photos to your mother.  But if you would like to improve, network, get things out there -- enter a juried show, sign up for a portfolio review, submit images to galleries and magazines.  

Blog Top Sites

Arts Blogs